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You Think You Have a Line


a blog by S.I.F. October 19, 2010

It’s a hard thing to grasp, the realization that you’re incapable of conceiving on your own. And because no one ever wants to think about it until they’re there, few have plans for how they’ll deal with infertility ahead of time. But once you adjust to a world where months become “cycles” and your reproductive endocrinologist is on speed dial, a switch is flipped — and suddenly you’re planning this out all the way to the end.

How Far Will You Go?

People begin contemplating infertility from every angle.

They ponder just how much they’re willing to put into this journey in order to come out on the other side with a baby.

They draw their lines. Lines that everyone in the land of infertility has. Lines that depict how far into treatments you’re willing to go to bring that baby home.

For some, it’s IUIs. For others, it's IVF without donors. And for others still, the line is almost imperceptible. Existing somewhere near whatever it takes.

Typically, for more people, designating that line is fairly easy. In the beginning, you’re still so filled with hope that this next cycle will work that you can’t even really imagine having to face IVF or beyond. You think about it, because it’s right there in front of you, but you don’t ever think you’ll actually end up there.

And so you draw your line. You look at infertility treatments, and you form opinions on everything from surrogacy to adoption. Based on finances and personal convictions, you determine what you are and are not willing to do in order to conceive a child.

For the lucky few, they never again have to confront those lines. They draw them in the sand, and then rejoice when the finish line appears.

For some, they give up before they ever make it to their predetermined line, realizing along the way that the financial, physical and emotional burdens have become more than they can bear. They hit a point on the marathon that is infertility where they just can’t go any farther. So, even though their line is still far off in the distance, they never actually make it there.

And for the rest, they end up right against that line — having to face that parameter they set for themselves long ago. Forced to determine if that really is as far as they’re willing to take this.

And Suddenly, Lines Move.

You think you have a line — until you’re there. You think you know how far you’re willing to go — until even that fails.

And then, you re-evaluate that line. You readjust. Draw it somewhere else down the path. You give yourself permission to go even further then you thought you were previously willing.

Because for must of us, it’s hard to call it quits until we have that baby in our arms, especially when the journey has already required so much. That desire to be parents becomes the driving force behind a machine primed to take down anything in its path.

Anything, including a line — one you drew long ago when you thought you knew how far you’d be willing to travel.
Before you realized how much more would be required.
How much more you’d be willing to give.

You think you have a line.

And then it moves.

Comments (4)

for the record, I wrote my blog reply before reading this...

Sitting on the side of "having gotten the brass ring" I am still awed by my utter lack of draw any rational lines. I was "Whatever it takes" to bring a child into my life. My DH was so diametrically opposed, on the side of "natural or never".

My need to have a child humbled me. It opened my eyes to what people go through, how driven by emotion common sense goes out the window. I feel deeply for people engaging in this dialoge. And for someone doing it in your shoes, I'm just so impressed by your ability to keep perspective.

And I think what has surprised me the most, is for baby number two... I've redrawn my lines closer to start, and my DH has joined the playing field of IF treatment.

Sending you loads of baby dust & prayers, that you won't need to consider moving that line again...

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